FB Series: Difference between IFrame and Connect Apps

Writing about specifics on iFrame apps in Facebook development was on my list for quite some time. So now despite a lack of time, let’s just get out with the essential message:

When writing iFrame Apps, think of it like a Connect App. It is essentially the same.

I made the long way round trying to find out what are the specifics of a iFrame app in the Facebook Wiki, Forums, and Google. The Facebook Docs is very unclear about the concrete iFrame functionalities from my point of view. Start reading the Facebook docs substituting Connect with IFrame and you find it way easiert to get along, I found.

The only difference between a iFrame and a Facebook app are the size restrictments of 760px and some friend exchange functions, you probably will not be able to use as an app living inside FB. The other things are the same, since as an iFrame app you are technically another site living on a different server so all the cross-channel communication techniques and security models apply just like for an Connect app.

Also I would stay away from using XFBML whenever possible. XFBML works by parsing your HTML at runtime via Javascript and injecting iframes within your iframe when encountering a XFBML tag. When trying to use the XFBML language for display of Friend Selector, Permission dialogs etc. it tore my site apart and was generally unacceptable slow. I found that this architecture is probably not ready yet for production and it makes your site really slow at times.

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One Comment

  1. Posted August 21, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    All over they have recommended using XFMBL over iframes as they load faster and also works well on the pages